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The Waki Way - Living full-time in a motor home

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We always seem to get asked the same questions about living somewhat off grid in a motor home, to which the answers seem to spark a dozen more questions! So (to give our voices a rest!) here's the answers to our most frequently asked questions...

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Camping on a Budget and Keeping to it!

You would of thought a camping trip is the cheapest kind of holiday you can have but, with the sheer amount of ‘essential’ gadgets and gizmos for sale in the stores and the cost of journeying to the site in the first place, they can actually soon catch up to or even overtake the cost of flying abroad!


Aside from choosing the best value camp site itself or going 'wild', here are some super simple tips to help keep the cost of a camping trip low for the times when it really matters:

  1. Don’t get carried away in the outdoor store! Easier said than done I know but try to be sensible. Do you really need that nifty looking gadget or special camping cook-set? ‘But it’s on offer!’ I hear you say, ‘and it says it makes doing X hassle free!’ But do you need it? If you’re hiking across Dartmoor and wild camping then yes you could probably do with a good lightweight nesting cook-set, but if you’re going to the kind of campsite where you’ll have the car parked right next to your tent then why not just take the pans, cutlery and can opener you already have at home? Who else will be using them while you’re away?
  2. Plan your meals for the trip and buy the ingredients at your local supermarket in advance. Are you attempting to climb Everest or going into space? If not then you probably don't need to spend £50 on 3 servings of specialist dried food! Also essentials and tins of beans can be really expensive at the campsite shop or the local newsagents/petrol station so it’s generally better to buy enough to start with. See our Camp Kitchen section for some inspiration above the standard bacon rolls. Of course some campsites have fantastic products like local fresh veg and free range eggs which will always beat the supermarket on quality. Phone and check what is available before you go, they may even suggest some fun activities like visiting a Pick Your Own farm nearby.
  3. Remember the travel part of the trip. Pack your own food and drink for the journey to avoid paying over the odds on junk food in petrol stations on the way. That stuff REALLY adds up fast and let’s face it you could probably do without the kids going through a sugar high and its inevitable crash whilst confined to the back seat! Made a round of everyone's favourite sandwiches, a flask of tea and pre-mix some squash in a large water bottle. For a sweet treat to nibble on check out our recipes for delicious home-made snacks.
  4. Make sure you’ve checked your vehicle over and have your breakdown cover in order. A simple breakdown at the other end of the country can be extremely expensive and when your tyre pressures are correct you will save fuel on the drive. Shop around for the best breakdown deal for your situation; we are covered with the RAC as part of our membership with The Camping and Caravan Club and if we are booked in to a campsite and break down on the way they will deliver us to it instead of cutting the trip short by having to return home straight away. Also make sure you don’t over-pack your car - not only does it cost you more fuel and create more wear on your tyres to drag along all the ‘just in cases’ but you could even land yourself a fine and lose the extra items if your vehicle is found to be dangerously overloaded!
  5. Allocate your holiday funds. Work out how much you have to spend on your holiday overall and separate the funds from your main bank account so you don't end up accidentally spending the money you need for your bills for the rest of the month! Transfer your trip money into a spare bank account like your joint or savings account, it's best if you have a debit card for this account, and work from that. Another method I like to use is to separate the money into labelled 'budget' envelopes (though remember to keep cash safe from thieves & perhaps invest in a fire safe!) ; allocate one for your fuel budget, another for eating out & food shopping, another with the money for the cost of the camp site itself (not forgetting on site extras like laundry costs etc) and the rest in your wallet is available for general spending and additional treats. I like budgeting this way for a lot of things, it's something my Nan used to do, as you can save up for what you need over the course of several months by slipping any spare cash in here and there, without the temptation of transferring it immediately back into your main account  - one of the problems of super simple online banking! 


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About us:

My name is Sarah and in 2011 my husband Ryan and I decided to buy and re-fit an old motor home - we named it Waki and now live in it full time in the UK!

We live neither on or off-grid, rather somewhere in between, and are not the first and I dare say not the last to choose this way of life... read more>> 

A quick note:

You may notice we don't have those annoying 3rd party adverts on our site and articles, you know those ads for diet pills and other ridiculous claims - and you're welcome! If we think that something is useful to our readers then we conduct our research and link to it directly.

To help support the site we instead make use of affiliate links where appropriate; Sarah is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. It doesn't cost you a penny extra to order anything via the links posted on this site and The Waki Way may earn a small referral fee if you do helping towards the costs of running this website - which is most appreciated! Seriously, let us say a massive THANK YOU for your support!


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